100 Very Best Restaurants: #45 – Kapnos/Kapnos Taverna/Kapnos Kouzina

Crab pide at Kapnos Kouzina. Photograph by Andrew Propp.


Offshoots of Mike Isabella’s Kapnos now span an airport, a ballpark, and a mall. Visit any of his four standalone Greek restaurants and it’s easy to see why. Luxurious dips such as taramasalata, vibrant vegetables, and inventive cocktails are pleasers across locations. Kapnos Kouzina, in Bethesda, showcases more rustic dishes such as fried chicken with burnt-honey harissa and stone-baked flatbreads, while Kapnos Taverna in Arlington channels the Greek Islands with raw-bar items and an impressive shellfish platter. Head to the DC flagship for smoky lamb shoulder and whole chicken slowly turning on the wood-fired rotisserie. Moderate.
Also great: Spanakopita; tzatziki; saganaki; cauliflower with feta; gigandes beans; shrimp makaronia; spiced goat; doughnuts with mint ice cream.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.